Milestones: Two Year Update

It goes without saying that the past year has absolutely flown by and I’m now going to be completely predictable and say the old saying of; ‘it feels like yesterday’ that T was a baby and just turning one. But it really does. I can’t believe he’s now two years old.

With T starting nursery and me returning to work full time I’m not surprised that the weeks have flown by. We’re set in such a busy routine of work, swimming, weekends that there’s often zero time to just stop and observe. As soon as T turned one it felt like all the milestones were suddenly being reached. Walking and talking to name but a few.

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Our 2016

Wow! Where has 2016 gone? To sound like a cliche, it feels like I was only writing my 2015 update yesterday!

Aside from all the death, 2016 has been a mixed bag for us. We’ve had our fair share of sickness; with T picking up everything from conjunctivitis to hand foot and mouth within weeks of each other, but we’ve also had some amazing adventures at the same time.
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When It Rains, It Pours. 

The last few weeks have been pretty rubbish if you ask me. I’ve constantly felt like duck (hear me out) – gracefully gliding through life to the naked eye, but frantically flapping underneath the water. 

It started when my stepmum got admitted into hospital for a number of issues I won’t disgust you with. But putting it simply, there are issues in some serious places. 

Things are moving in the right direction, but we don’t know when she’ll be home or what the circumstances will be when she does come home. It’s hit everyone really hard. 

That’s raindrop number one.

Number two leads on from number one in that our childcare arrangements have now subsequently changed. 

T goes to nursery three days a week in the afternoon. I drop him off and my mum picks him up, does his tea, and then Sharon picks him up an hour later. 

With hospital visits, my mum (quite understandably) can’t do pick ups which means Sharon is now having to get up at 4:30 to catch a 5:30 bus to start work at 6:30 so that she can finish work early to pick him up. Ouch. 

To make matters worse, Sharon was then sick last week during a major project, so I had to leave work for an hour, pick T up, and then go back to work. 

Thank god for understanding bosses!

Although it works, our current set up can only be temporary as Sharon’s boss isn’t keen on the hours due to what her role entails – so we have to work something out. 

I need to work full time to pay for childcare (go figure) and bills, so I can’t cut any hours down to work around pick ups. I then worked out that with the weekends I already work we only have 26 days a year when we’re together as a family that isn’t annual leave. 26. So I can’t add any more weekend work and take from the week. Unless I never want to see my family again. 

This is likely going to go on for several weeks which leaves us with only two viable options. 

1) Look for a childminder for the hour in between nursery finishing and Sharon picking him up. 

2) Move T to a nursery to closer to Sharon’s work. 

I don’t even want to consider number 2 as T is thriving, however number 1 will likely leave me with zero cash. But then with 26 days of family time it’s unlikely I’ll need it anyway!

I can’t change my shifts so I work 8-5 (and therefore do nursery drop off and pick ups) as that’ll mean more cash to nursery as T would then be doing all day as apposed to just the afternoon. Although tiring, my 1-10pm shifts work financially. 

So the next few weeks are going to see us looking at major changes to everything. From finances to childcare. Not a great time to also think about weaning T off the boob as well, eh? Oh! And hello to our newest addition; the 18 month sleep regression. 

Even if my stepmum returns home, I think this is a sign that maybe we need to look at alternative childcare arrangements anyway. My mum is *cough* years old after all – she’s already raised her own two kids and has health issues of her own. I think she deserves a rest. 

What this post serves, I don’t know. It’s certainly not a way a moan about family. Far from it. This week has seen family come together and “teams” strengthen. 

I’m so lucky to have Sharon as my wife. Without a second thought she’s changed things at work alongside me. She’s still helped with the night wakings (don’t ask) even though she’s getting up at ridiculous o’clock. She’s just been amazing, even though it could quite easily go down the pan with how tired we both are. 

Our routine is royally out the window. 

Shit happens. It really does. We’re not the only ones affected in all of this, and none of this is anyone’s fault. 

But when it rains, it really does pour. 

Credit: 123rf.com

18 Months Update. 

The last six months since our last update have flown by, and yet they feel like an eternity ago. I really can’t believe T is now 18 months old.

T is a proper little boy now, constantly on the move and constantly eating! He has his own little character and is smart and funn with it. He is also very kind – giving out kisses and cuddles without being prompted, and likes to share everything he has (as long as you give it back).

I’m really enjoying this stage at the moment. I can play with T and he plays back, he genuinely enjoys being read to, and he genuinely understands what I’m saying to him. I know most parents say this; but T is so so smart.


If I ask him to put something on his head, he does. If I ask him where the cow is, he gets it and even makes the noise a cow makes. He knows the difference between and fork and a spoon, and knows which cat is which when I ask him to go look for them. I don’t mean to sound so shocked, but that’s a lot for someone who’s only been around for 18 months!

Outings are even more enjoyable what with T being on the move and constantly noticing new things around him and not just the things that move.

Some days out are a bit slow, but that’s because we notice T often likes to just watch and ponder.

Breasteeding

T is (surprisingly) still asking for boob every now and again, even though he went through a phase of not asking/wanting it when it was offered. At 18 months I just assumed food and water would cover everything now, but obviously not.

He now only has it before his morning nap and before bed. He used to ask for it around 2pm, but when I offered water instead he was quite happy with that. I feel he often asks for the sake of asking but doesn’t actually want any milk. I know that Breastfeeding is also a comfort thing, but I’m not even sure it’s like that with T as he can sometimes be on for a matter of seconds and he’s off.

Talking

There was a time when T was copying a few words, like; “Oscar“, “Car“, “No” and “Mama“, however things have slowed down now – I’m not sure whether T is just prioritising other things now he thinks he knows ALL THE WORDS at 18 months.

He’s very vocal, and often has a lot to say in baby language, but they’re never real words or repetitive noises to represent something. For example, he won’t say anything similar to “thank you” when we give him something even though we are CONSTANTLY saying “Ta”. He knows stuff, that’s for sure – certain animals or objects around the house for example – he just doesn’t attempt to copy the words. He does, however, shake his head when he doesn’t want something and that’s pretty cool.

We’re always talking to him and asking him questions, not to mention reading to him, therefore I’m not worried we’re not doing enough. I guess it’s just a case of waiting and listening.

Emotions

Leading on from the above, we’re also starting to experience the ‘terrible-twos’ or whatever age this starts now. Our holiday was a fine example.

Although we had an absolutely wonderful time on holiday, with T enjoying himself and still finding time to laugh, we found that T was quite emotional during that week, with tantrums happening daily – if not hourly on some days. Although the majority of them occured when we stopped him from walking somewhere dangerous, or taking pebbles off of him that he wanted to eat, we also had random bouts of tears.

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We thought it may have been one of many leaps or milestones, or maybe even teeth, however it could have been down to the change of scenery. We took lots of home comforts with us, but I perhaps it all got a bit much for him. I’d be interested to see if this was the case, or whether this is the start of ‘terrible-somethings’.

Food

Now we’re over the sickness spree T is 100% back to normal when it comes to meals.

He polishes off all his meals these days and still enjoys a variety of flavours (even heat/spice). His favourite is still anything with potato in it, although his quickest devour yet is still mama’s Lasange. He still isn’t keen on Apple slices, but when I grate it into his porridge he’s quite happy.

Jam face


Sleep

Not as bad as a few weeks ago where he was waking every few hours, but we do still get the occasional midnight wake.

Mama can usually get him back off and then we’re good until 7, although more recently we’ve been having 5:30 wake ups, which is a killer when one of you has been up with him at midnight.

New Ventures

In addition to the above, the past six months has seen new shoes, new words, and lots of movement. T is starting to bend his knees properly when he walks, and has almost lost that “toddler toddle”.

We also ventured into the unknown this month and got T’s hair cut!

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I was reluctant at first, as I really wasn’t ready to lose the last few strands of ‘baby’, but his hair was wild and looking a little messy. I have no qualms about long hair, but it just didn’t ever sit right and was often leaving him quite hot.

We went to our usual barbers in Brighton and fell in love with their newest Barber. He wore a top hat so I was already smitten, and T was pretty calm throughout – only having to resort to the iPad towards the end. The cut only took a few minutes (probably not even 5) but it felt like a lifetime when I started to see curls drop to the floor.

The cut turned out great – and we even managed to salvage some curls on his head still AND for our memory box.

I expect the next 6 months to fly – which is bound to happen when you’re working full time with a busy toddler. I’m really hoping to capture as much as possible. This comes from feeling like I’m not always “present” in the moment. I’m often thinking of the next meal or when nap time is due, meaning I often can’t remember when T started doing a certain thing or making a certain noise. It’s tough to say the least, and I feel awful, but I think we’re doing ok now. I’ve certainly relaxed a little.

The last 6 months, although have still flown, don’t feel to have passed as quick as the first year. I’m hoping that’s because I’m making an effort to watch everything going on around T. It’s hard not to when he’s off before you even put him down!

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K

Making Conversation.

It didn’t take long after T turning one that his words started becoming more word like and less like babble.

Although I had no qualms about having a conversation with him, it got tricky after a while, especially when T would look at me in confusion, knowing full when I had already asked him “how much” something was or “what else” someone had said.

I know, mate, I'm confused as you.

I know, mate, I’m confused as you.

  • Of recent, however, those babbles have now turned into full blown words, with “mama” and “Bebe” being his favourite words.

    Here’s a few other words I know T can say:

  • Dada (yeah, I know, I was surprised as you).
  • Duck.
  • Ockar (Oscar).
  • Tat (Cat).
  • Meeeeeeee.
  • Nana

In addition to this, I’m overjoyed at how T can also understand me as well…

He knows how to kiss (me, preferably):

He currently enjoys kissing every character in 'Rabbits nap'.

He currently enjoys kissing every character in ‘Rabbits nap’.

He knows where his tongue is when I ask him:

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He smiles when I ask him to (sometimes):

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When I ask him who’s on the phone, he finds out:

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There are a heap of other little tricks such as; clapping along to songs, and passing me objects I’ve asked for, that T can do and I’m so proud. I’m also often dumbfounded as to where he picked certain things up – I’ve certainly never taught him how blow raspberries, for example!

I’m confident that this is the work of nursery combined with us reading to him.

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He absolutely loves books, and often brings us several throughout the day to read over and over and over and over and over again. I’m pretty sure I now know where fox’s socks are and what pet the zoo gave to the little kid.

I know we’re a little while off, but I cannot wait to hear T’s “talking voice” – I know it’s going to melt me. I can’t wait for him to start asking questions or even just being able to say please and thank you.

What were your little knew first words?
K